Omer Petti and Madge Woodward, 95 and 85 years old, respectively, are used to metal detectors at airport security going off when they pass through. Petti, according to the The Detroit News, has had two knees replaced, while Woodward has had a hip replaced.
But they weren’t expecting to lose $300. And they weren’t expecting to be “treated like terrorists,” as Woodward told the paper.
The couple was flying out of San Diego International Airport on March 29 to start their return trip to Detroit. They had been in San Diego visiting family.
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At the security checkpoint, Petti and Woodward removed all the necessary items and put their belongings in four rubber bins. Petti told the paper that a security officer asked him to remove Kleenex and $300 in folded bills that he had in his pocket and send it through the detector. After hesitating, Petti said he put the money in a fifth bin and he and Woodward went through the detector. As expected, they set off the alarms.
The couple said they were patted down and because Petti carries nitroglycerin pills for his heart, a litmus test on Petti’s clothing tested positive for nitrates. They were then taken to another room for an additional pat down while security inspected the items in their carry-on bags.
“When I was patted down, I’ve never before been touched in every part of my body before,” Woodward told the paper.
When they were finally released, they went to retrieve their belongings but only four of the five bins were handed over. The fifth bin, the one with the $300 in cash, was missing. A senior security official was called over and Petti said he was promised the videotapes would be reviewed but has been told the tapes were too blurry to show anything usable.
Petti has filed a report with the San Diego Harbor Police and written a letter to the airport federal security director in San Diego and he’s copied politicians up to and including President Obama. He is in the process of filling out paperwork required by the TSA.
But still, no money.
In a statement to ABCNews.com, TSA spokesman Greg Soule said: “TSA takes all passengers claims seriously and each one is thoroughly reviewed. TSA in San Diego has been in contact with the passenger and will communicate the findings directly to the individual.”
Readers: What do you think happened? Was the money stolen by a TSA official? By someone else in the security line? Or could it simply have been misplaced? Reply in the comments section below.